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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 03:51 am
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lobo316



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Giancarlo Stanton is getting pretty sick of losing.

Though the slugger is off to a respectable individual start to the season, slashing .263/.339/.533 with 11 home runs in 40 games, the same can't be said of his Miami Marlins, who are already 11 games back in the NL East at 14-26.

Those 26 losses are contributing to a level of frustration Stanton's never experienced before.

"It's probably the highest ever," Stanton told the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer. "It's higher than me being the worst player on the field for a month, the worst player in the big leagues for a month, last year."

From May 15 to June 15 last season, Stanton endured one of the most miserable stretches of his career, slashing a paltry .120/.214/.240 and amassing 37 strikeouts in 75 at-bats during the span.

Another possible factor in Stanton's frustration may be the ongoing saga behind the potential sale of the team, though that likely doesn't compare to the Marlins finding themselves behind the injury-depleted New York Mets and the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies in the division.

"Surprised? Yes," Stanton said. "No one expected it to be like this."

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:01 am
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lobo316



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The Los Angeles Dodgers will be without their hottest hitter for at least the next week and a half, as the club has placed third baseman Justin Turner on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

Turner, who ranks fourth in the National League in WAR (2.2), injured his hamstring in the seventh inning of Thursday's 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium, where he pulled up lame as he rounded third while trying to score on a base hit by Yasmani Grandal. After hobbling to the plate, where he was tagged out by catcher J.T. Realmuto, Turner was helped off the field following an examination by a team trainer and immediately removed from the game.

Turner was later sent for an MRI, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted the 32-year-old was likely headed to the DL.

"When it happened, it looked like it tore off the bone," Roberts told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "I think it happened after he hit third and was coming around. It looked like it almost came off the bone, the way he reacted."

In his absence, the Dodgers will likely have Chris Taylor - hitting .324/.438/.541 with four homers and four doubles through 26 games in 2017 - take over at third base.

Off to a blistering start this season, Turner - who landed a four-year, $64-million deal from the Dodgers this winter - leads the NL with a .379 average and 53 hits through 39 games, along with a career-best .946 OPS (156 OPS+).

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:03 am
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lobo316



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Dayton Moore joined The Program 810 on Friday to discuss the trade market, and the Kansas City Royals general manager had a lot to say regarding the team's five notable pending free agents.

"If we were going to deal these players, the time to have dealt these players was right after the 2015 World Series," Moore said, clearly alluding to Jason Vargas, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer.

"They had at least two years of control, (and were) coming off a World Series championship," Moore elaborated to host Soren Petro.

That might be how some teams do business, but not Moore. "Some baseball people would say that's the smart, that's the shrewd way to do it. Baseball is more about heart than the head."

Moore wanted to make it clear that he has no regrets about opting not to deal players that may end up being trade bait this season. "That's just not something we would do or were willing to do. You start trading away your marquee players after winning a World Series, that's not good ... that's wrong in my opinion," said the 50-year-old executive.

The Royals, currently last in their division and 4 1/2 games back of first place, could end up being trade deadline sellers.

Vargas, Escobar, Cain, Moustakas, and Hosmer are all on deals that expire following this season, likely suppressing their value somewhat, but would still be valuable acquisitions for teams looking for a postseason push. Factor in Kelvin Herrera, whose contract expires following the 2018 season, and the Royals have an excellent basis on which to rebuild.

Compounding matters further for Moore and the rest of the Royals front office is that the new CBA - ratified this past offseason - no longer guarantees top draft picks as compensation for players that leave via free agency. Instead, teams are only guaranteed at least a third-round selection for a departing free agent who has rejected a qualifying offer.

Moore denied that his team will tank, though. "If tanking is a part of your mentality," Moore said, "you shouldn’t be in professional sports. In fact, you shouldn’t be in sports. Why should you have the privilege to lead if you talk about tanking?"

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:04 am
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lobo316



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At this point, it's become clear that the New York Mets are in disarray, and now a new culprit has emerged as a cause for the dysfunction, as sources in the team's internal operations confidentially told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN that COO Jeff Wilpon is a micro-manager.

"He meddles," Crasnick's source said, "Jeff gets in the middle of everything that's going on, and he ends up doing more damage."

It's a damning report for a team that is already lacking any positive publicity of late.

Wilpon, who is the son of the team's owner, Fred Wilpon, has faced this specific criticism before. As far back as 2009, Joel Sherman wrote an article for the New York Post that at least implied he was fighting accusations of being: "A credit seeker. An accountability deflector. A micro-manager. A second guesser. A less-than-deep thinker. And bad at self-awareness."

To his credit, Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson deflected the blame away from the team's COO.

"With respect to Jeff," Alderson explained, "I would not say he's heavily involved in the medical side." The long-tenured GM went on to take responsibility for the franchise's recent rash of injuries by saying, "ultimately, these areas of expertise and coordination fall under my responsibility."

The Mets currently have Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and David Wright stashed on the disabled list and are operating on what is, ostensibly, a four-man rotation.

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:05 am
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In July 2009, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was implicated in a New York Times report that, citing anonymous sources, suggested he, along with Sammy Sosa and then-teammate Manny Ramirez, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

However, Big Papi seems to have a theory on who those sources were all along.

The 10-time All-Star told WEEI on Friday that none other than the New York Yankees are to blame for leaking information regarding a confidential 2003 study Ortiz and more than 100 others took part in.

"What was the reason for them to come out with something like that?" Ortiz said. "The only thing that I can think of, to be honest with you, a lot of big guys from the Yankees were getting caught. And no one from Boston."

Prior to the report, which implicated Ortiz, Matt Lawton was the lone Yankees player to get suspended, receiving a 10-game ban in 2005. Alex Rodriguez would be caught later, in 2013, though he was accused of using steroids as early as 2007 by Jose Canseco.

"A newspaper coming out of New York with that news," Ortiz's theory stewed, "it don't make any sense to me."

In a press conference during Big Papi's retirement tour last season, the commissioner of MLB Rob Manfred exonerated Ortiz of suspicion on the matter. "There were legitimate scientific questions about whether or not those were truly positive (tests)," Manfred explained, before saying, "it was entirely possible that (Ortiz was) not a positive."

Ortiz concluded a 20-year career last season with league-leading numbers in doubles, slugging percentage, RBI, and OPS. Ortiz's name will begin going on Hall of Fame ballots in 2022 and there is some concern that being a suspected PED user could hurt his case for Cooperstown.

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:06 am
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Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale re-wrote his name into baseball's history books Friday with a dominant start in Oakland, where he tied his own MLB record - which he shares with Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez - by recording double-digit strikeouts in his eighth straight outing.

Sale, now almost two months into his tenure with the Red Sox, allowed just two runs and fanned 10 over seven dominant innings against the Athletics, giving him a whopping 88 strikeouts over his last 58 2/3 innings (13.5 per nine) as well as his second streak of eight consecutive double-digit strikeout starts in the last three years. (Back in 2015, when he was still with the Chicago White Sox, Sale fanned at least 10 batters in eight straight outings from May 23 through June 30, a stretch that propelled him to his fourth of five career All-Star appearances and a fourth-place finish in American League Cy Young voting.)

If Sale, who owns a 2.19 ERA this season, notches at least 10 strikeouts Thursday against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park, the 28-year-old would be the first pitcher in history to do so in nine consecutive starts - something Martinez, a three-time Cy Young award winner, would welcome.

"Records are made to be broken, and I am hoping that he surpasses everything I did," Martinez told Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso earlier this month. "I'm not jealous of it. I would love to see more players like him, guys who really want to get better every day regardless of how good they already are."

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:07 am
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Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to May 17, due to a pinched nerve in his neck, the team announced Saturday.

The Astros don't expect him to miss more than one start with the issue, however, according to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.

It's unknown how or when the former Cy Young winner suffered the apparent injury, as he has been impeccable in 2017. He owns a 1.84 ERA - the best mark in the majors - and a 0.86 WHIP, as well as a 7-0 record in nine starts.

Ashur Tolliver has been recalled from Triple-A Fresno in a corresponding roster move.

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:08 am
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Tommy Lasorda, the Hall of Fame former manager and special advisor to the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been hospitalized for several days with an undisclosed illness, reports Bill Plunkett of the Orange Country Register.

The 89-year-old, who was also hospitalized after suffering a bad fall last August in Atlantic City, is reportedly currently in the intensive care unit at Centinela Hospital in Los Angeles. He's been in contact with several former players, Plunkett adds.

Lasorda managed the Dodgers from 1976-96, recording a 1,599-1,439 managerial record before having to retire in 1996 due to a heart attack.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame one year later, as his forced retirement due to health issues allowed him to forego the traditional five-year waiting period for eligibility.

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:10 am
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The race to sign one of the market's hottest young prodigies may be nearly over, as the Chicago White Sox are reportedly finalizing a deal with Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert worth more than $25 million, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

Robert attracted plenty of interest in recent weeks, and the White Sox reportedly emerged as last-minute favorites for his signature alongside the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Due to a limited spending bonus on international free agents, the Cardinals may have been priced out of the race. Robert's reported deal with Chicago would have surpassed the $50-million mark with St. Louis due to penalty taxes, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Though only 19 years old, Robert has been considered the second-best international talent, right behind Japanese pitcher-slugger hybrid Shohei Otani. One American League scout even referred to Robert as the "best player on the planet" in February.

Robert slashed .401/.526/.687 in 53 games in 2016 with Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series. He also slashed .286/.319/.397 in a shorter appearance (16 games) in the CanAm league in 2016.

Saturday was the first day Robert was eligible to sign with a major-league side after he was officially declared a free agent by MLB one month ago.

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 Posted: Sun May 21st, 2017 04:11 am
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The Atlanta Braves have filled the hole created by Freddie Freeman's injury.

Atlanta acquired first baseman Matt Adams from the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday in exchange for infielder Juan Yepez.

The Braves also received cash considerations as part of the transaction.

Adams will likely take over as the Braves' starting first baseman in place of Freeman, the star slugger who's expected to miss 10 weeks after fracturing his wrist against Toronto. Earlier this week, the Braves signed veteran James Loney to a minor-league contract in an attempt to add more depth at the position.

Adams, a 23rd-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2009, found himself on the outside of the club's infield rotation this year after Matt Carpenter was moved to first base. The Cardinals tried playing him in left field, but the natural first baseman made just five appearances at the position before that experiment was abandoned. Adams has played 31 games this year, but has started just eight times; the majority of his 2017 appearances have come as a pinch-hitter.

"Looking at it (the trade), it's the best thing for my career," Adams told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com after the deal was announced. The 28-year-old also acknowledged that leaving the Cardinals - the only team he's ever known - would be "tough."

Adams owns a .292/.340/.396 slash line with just one homer in 53 plate appearances this season. His best year with the Cardinals came in 2013, when he posted a .839 OPS and smacked a career-best 17 home runs for that year's National League champions.

Yepez is a first baseman/third baseman who owns a career .741 OPS and has hit six home runs in 490 minor-league plate appearances since 2015. The 19-year-old Venezuelan has been playing at Single-A Rome this season; according to Langosch, St. Louis plans to assign Yepez to its Single-A affiliate in Peoria.

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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:43 am
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Regardless of what Dustin Pedroia says, the Boston Red Sox record at the moment is at the .500 mark.

Nevertheless, Pedroia is fully convinced that his team is better than what Beantown fans are watching right now. On Saturday, the Red Sox struggles continued in an 8-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics that saw the A's tee off for four home runs to drop the New England side back to the even mark at 21-21.

Despite the talent surrounding Pedroia in the Boston clubhouse, the team is simply spinning its wheels after seven weeks of play. But the former AL MVP remains convinced that the Red Sox current record is nothing but an aberration that will be fixed.

"As players you put your head down and play. We're not a .500 team," Pedroia told Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe after Saturday's game. "It looks like that. It is right now. You play 162 (games). See ya at the end."

Indeed, the Red Sox have shown some signs that a turnaround could come. Chris Sale is setting records, Craig Kimbrel is back to his old self in the ninth inning, and Mookie Betts has gotten going at the plate - but too much is also going wrong at this moment.

Last year's vaunted offensive attack has struggled as a unit: much-heralded rookie Andrew Benintendi has struggled of late, Hanley Ramirez is only now starting to heat up a little bit, and no Red Sox hitter has more than seven home runs; starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who homered 21 times in 2016, hasn't hit one yet. There's also the matter of injuries, a carousel of third basemen, and the rest of the rotation, which, simply put, hasn't been good.

In the 17 games not started by Sale, Porcello or Rodriguez, #RedSox have a 7.28 ERA with average of 4.2 IP per start.

— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) May 21, 2017
Pedroia has won two World Series in Boston, and knows what it takes to succeed in that kind of high-pressure market. While his analogy of choice was strange, the 33-year-old remains convinced that this group of Red Sox will shake all of this inconsistency off and get back into contention quickly.

"As a player in this environment, there's ups and downs," Pedroia said. "The down are you're lower than as low as be. Whale shit? I don't know. Then the highest is you're the greatest of all time.

"You've got to stay even, man, and we intend on doing that."

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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:45 am
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Terry Collins nearly bestowed Mike Trout with the highest form of respect you can give a hitter.

Down 7-4 in the ninth inning Saturday, the Los Angeles Angels began to threaten the New York Mets late by loading the bases with just one out in the final frame. To make matters worse for New York, Trout, the last player you'd ever want to face in that situation, was getting ready in the batter's box.

Rather than allow a living, breathing baseball machine the chance to give the Angels the lead with one Trout-like swing, Collins contemplated giving Los Angeles a free run in exchange for not having closer Addison Reed deal with Trout.

"The first thought is, 'I'd rather almost walk this guy than give him a pitch to hit,'" Collins said postgame, according to Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "Fortunately, Addy made some good pitches on him.

"That's the kind of situation where you look back on the time when Buck Showalter walked (Barry) Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him and I had ... the same feeling."

In baseball's vast history, only six different players have ever received a free pass with the bases loaded, according to Baseball Almanac, though none are perhaps more infamous than Collins' example of Bonds facing the Arizona Diamondbacks with two outs in the ninth in May 1998.

Had Collins actually walked Trout, the numbers would have backed his decision. No team that has intentionally walked in a free run has ever gone on to lose that game.

Collins, however, chose instead to live dangerously and it paid off, as Trout was limited to a sacrifice fly and the Mets would hold on to win 7-5.

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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:45 am
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The Houston Astros are taking no chances with the health of backstop Brian McCann as the club has placed him on the seven-day disabled list for concussion-like symptoms, retroactive to Saturday.

"He came in yesterday and complained of not feeling great, not feeling like himself, and simply not doing great," manager AJ Hinch told reporters Sunday, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "The more we dug on it the more we realized that he was having concussion-type symptoms.

"We had him evaluated by the doctors and the doctors determined at some point he had a small concussion and obviously we're going to go very careful with him and put him on the DL and make sure he gets right."

Though the Astros don't know exactly when McCann may have suffered a concussion, Hinch did note McCann was struck hard in the facemask by a foul tip last Sunday against the New York Yankees in the second game of a doubleheader. Since the hit, McCann has sat out of three of Houston's subsequent six games, including Saturday's tilt against the Cleveland Indians.

Catcher Juan Centeno was recalled from Triple-A Fresno in a corresponding move.

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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:47 am
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Cody Bellinger crushes a solo home run to right!!! #LetsGoDodgers pic.twitter.com/8sqjHQ4C0a

— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) May 21, 2017
The kid is for real.

Thanks to multiple injuries to their lineup early in the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to call up their No. 1 prospect, Cody Bellinger, from Triple-A. Bellinger, however, is making the most of his rushed promotion, as the rookie crushed his ninth home run in 24 games Saturday night against the Miami Marlins, making him the fastest Dodger in franchise history to reach the mark.

To encapsulate just how crucial Bellinger has been in the lineup since making his MLB debut April 25 against the rival San Francisco Giants, his nine home runs also already lead the Dodgers with Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager trailing the 21-year-old with eight and seven homers, respectively.

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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:49 am
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The New York Mets may need Zack Wheeler to pitch more this season than they had penciled him in for.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the entirety of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Wheeler has managed to pitch 43 1/3 innings so far this year.

"What we try to do is establish a target, and then we constantly re-evaluate," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday's David Lennon. "And that's what we'll do in his case."

The Mets are currently rolling with a four-man rotation as a result of Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo all being on the disabled list.


Wheeler entered the 2017 campaign with an innings limit set at around 125. However, the Mets are desperate for backup, and appear to be re-evaluating Wheeler's innings limit out of necessity.

"Right now he's one of the horses we've got to ride to get back on track," Mets skipper Terry Collins added.

Wheeler has pitched more than 125 innings just once in his short major-league career. In 2014, he managed 185 1/3 innings of work. The following March, he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Owner of a 3-2 record, Wheeler is posting a 3.74 ERA and 4.22 FIP through his eight starts this season.

The 18-23 Mets are in an unenviable spot, 6 1/2 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals.

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